Summary of Findings
Teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites;
indeed the sitesthemselves are designed to encourage the sharing of information and the expansion of networks.However, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media. Instead, they take an array of stepsto restrict and prune their profiles, and their patterns of reputation management on social media varygreatly according to their gender and network size. These are among the key findings from a new reportbased on a survey of 802 teens that exami
nes teens’ privacy management on social media sites
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in thepast. For the five different types of personal information that we measured in both 2006 and2012, each is significantly more likely to be shared by teen social media users in our most recentsurvey.
Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.
The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has79 followers.
Focus group discussions with teens show that they have waning enthusiasm for Facebook,
disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful “drama,” but
they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing.
60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private, and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings.
Teens take other steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks, and mask information
they don’t want
others to know; 74% of teen social media users have deleted people from theirnetwork or friends list.
Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their
data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned.
On Facebook, increasing network size goes hand in hand with network variety, informationsharing, and personal information management.
In broad measures of online experience, teens are considerably more likely to report positiveexperiences than negative ones. For instance, 52% of online teens say they have had anexperience online that made them feel good about themselves.
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on socialmedia sites than they did in the past.
Teens are increasingly sharing personal information on social media sites, a trend that is likely driven bythe evolution of the platforms teens use as well as changing norms around sharing
. A typical teen’s
MySpace profile from 2006 was quite different in form and function from the 2006 version of Facebookas well as the Facebook profiles that have become a hallmark of teenage life today. For the five different
“social media site” a
s the umbrella term that refers to social networking sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn,and Google Plus) as well as to information- and media-sharing sites that users may not think of in terms of
networking such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. “Teen social media users” are teens who use any social mediasite(s). When we use “social networking sites” or “social networking sites and Twitter,” it
will be to maintain theoriginal wording when reporting survey results.